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One specific anxiety trigger to do with the dc...how do I overcome it? (Warning...long)

(6 Posts)
NameFear Sun 09-Nov-14 00:18:21

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but I would appreciate some advice.

I have one very specific anxiety/panic trigger which seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I know the exact 'cause' behind this, so i'll explain the circumstances first. I'll call my dc Ben and Joe (changed names).

When ds1 was around 2, he had a febrile convulsion. He was sitting in his highchair in the living room with dh at the time. I can vividly (it's stamped on my brain) remember walking down the stairs and hearing dh talking to ds1 (but they were out of sight in the next room)...then heared dh saying 'Ben...Ben...Ben?'. I knew instantly there was something wrong from dh's voice, and the memory of that tone he had still gives me chills when I think of it. I raced down the stairs just as dh was pulling ds1 from his chair, and he was convulsing.

This was the second convulsion ds1 had had, so was not unknown to me. We called 999, ds1 came around, went for a check up and was fine. It was just a 'typical' febrile convulsion due to a temp spike and nothing awful, but scary all the same.

However...i'm pretty sure that this is the trigger for my specific anxiety. This was now 4-5 years ago, but the anxiety is increasing and getting worse.

It's when I hear anyone calling the dc's names (I know it sounds pathetic). If someone says the dcs names/calls them, especially if more than once and if they're out of my sight, I start to feel sick, my heart starts pounding and I feel overwhelming anxiety, verging on panic. Even if it's just one name-call and they appear 5 seconds later. The panic starts almost instantly. My mind races, I imagine all sorts of horrible reasons why the dc can't respond.

It happens so frequently too, people calling/saying your dc's names. School pick up is my nightmare because the dc are kept sitting in the classroom and are called to the door one by one as parents turn up. So I hear 'Joe...Joe? Come on, mums waiting. Joe?' every day, twice over, by their respective teachers. The 3/5/20 seconds they take to arrive at the door, when I can't see them and I don't know the reason they haven't instantly responded is like a living hell.

Dh lifts Ben (now age 6) when we go to bed, so he can go to the toilet...so he gently rouses him. Dh does this every night because Ben is in a top bunk and I can't lift him down myself. This is possibly the worst one, because it's dh's voice, saying the same words 'Ben...come on, Ben, wake up...Ben?' and it makes me feel physically sick. I've not told dh because I feel like a crazy person. But I've started hovering in the dc's bedroom when he's lifting him, so I can see that Ben is OK whilst dh is repeating his name, and he's noticed and has hmm at me a few times.

If anyone else is looking after the dc for me, I cannot call them to check in. I just can't. I have never spoken to my dc on the phone from work or anything. Even once when my mum had them for a weekend whilst dh and I were away, I couldn't bring myself to talk to the dc on the phone in turns, or talk to my mum...in case I heared someone in the background calling one of their names. I just couldn't bear it. I made excuses all weekend for dh to be the one to call and speak to my mum and the dc, and I know that dh was cross (and probably hurt) that I appeared to not want to talk to our children who I hadn't seen for a couple of days.

Just for context...I do have fairly constant low-level anxiety (mainly about the kids), but this is my only 'thing'. And I don't know what to do about it. There is at least one instance, every single day, and the anxiety I get over it, in that moment, is extreme. What the fuck do I do? I sound like a complete idiot and I don't want to tell dh or a Doctor because I can imagine the hmm looks, but I can't see this going away.

Any advice (if you got this far!) is appreciated.

Foxbiscuitselection Sun 09-Nov-14 00:26:43

CBT? Definitely need to challenge the thoughts as they pop into your head.

mumsywoo78 Tue 18-Nov-14 22:59:16

Hi there I suffer from anxiety too. But to me this sounds like you could be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Id defo go and see your gp maybe even show him or her your thread to read if its easier than explaining everything. Hope things get better for you soon xxx

twoandahalftimesthree Tue 18-Nov-14 23:14:49

I would say telling someone is the first step in getting to grips with this issue and you've taken the first step by posting about it, and it is a significant step.
Next, you might tell someone in real life about it. Probably not someone you know personally and over the phone might be easier to start with. You could try the No Panic helpline www.nopanic.org.uk.
Hopefully they should be able to listen and help you unravel this pattern of thinking.

Nodney Tue 18-Nov-14 23:19:59

You poor thing that must be awful. As other posters have said, first step is the doctors. sounds like you'd really benefit from CBT X

twoandahalftimesthree Tue 18-Nov-14 23:29:35

Not sure if this link works but I'm guessing that gradual and controlled exposure might be what a professional would advise. www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/FacingFears_Exposure.pdf

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